Johnstone Family Professor, Department of Psychology; Harvard University; Author, The Sense of Style
Pinker's Law

Pinker's First Law

Human intelligence is a product of analogy and combinatorics. Analogy allows the mind to use a few innate ideas—space, force, essence, goal—to understand more abstract domains. Combinatorics allows an a finite set of simple ideas to give rise to an infinite set of complex ones.

Pinker's Second Law

Human sociality is a product of conflicts and confluences of genetic interests. Our relationships with our parents, siblings, spouses, friends, trading partners, allies, rivals, and selves have different forms because they instantiate different patterns of overlap of ultimate interests. History, fiction, news, and gossip are endlessly fascinating because the overlap is never 0% or 100%.